Brisbane Pride Festival is about to crown the inaugural winner of its Ms Pride competition, which organisers hope will help celebrate and showcase the variety of women within the community.

The finalists will take to the main stage at Fair Day this Sunday for their last chance to impress the judges.

Judges are looking for a woman that embodies not only an amazing sense of positivity, charisma and sex appeal, but als someone who they feel has a true sense of community and confidence.

“We are looking for someone who is articulate, savvy, sexy, funny, engaging, charming [and] able to handle tough topics with tact, diplomacy, honesty and conviction,” Ms Pride organiser Martina McGrath told Star Observer.

McGrath hopes that the winner will encourage other women to become more aware of their community, rights and raise their visibility.

“I see this person’s year-long reign as being a key role model for helping empower our women to speak up, engage, get more involved with community groups with eloquence, grace but polite assertiveness,” she said.

Being the first year of the competition, many women were not overly aware of Ms Pride, but McGrath believes that the community will be more informed and aware once the winner has been decided.

I believe the word is finally out there and many people (right across our community) are absolutely thrilled to see this inaugural event.”

Finalist Emily Klapper wants to inspire members of the LGBTI community to be proud of who they are.

“I want to help inspire everyone in the GLBTIQ community to be proud of their identity, no matter what anyone else may say or do,” Klapper said.

“We need to be visibly proud in order to be recognised and get the rights we deserve.”

Finalist Shaz Gerchow was first put off by the title of ‘Ms’ but said that the more she considered it, the more the competition appealed to her.

“The more I thought about it, the more excited I became as I saw it as an opportunity to give something back to my community, as well as challenging people’s perceptions about what an appropriate ‘Ms’ may look like,” Gerchow said.

Finalist Jodi Death believes that her love and passion for the community will help her to stand out as an ambassador.

“Now when we’re under pressure, we need article voices more than ever to represent our community that I love. I’m pretty good at being tuned into people’s needs, standing my ground and picking the right fights,” she said.

The winner receives a holiday to the Pink Flamingo Resort in Port Douglas, a Great Barrier Reef tour package and a year’s membership at Ignition Fitness.


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